Q&A Advice Column

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Dear Q&A,

Hey, I want to try a new sport with a couple of my friends, but my parents aren’t really supportive. It’s not like they don’t want me to succeed, they just want me to focus more on schoolwork and my other extracurriculars. What should I do? I don’t want to let my friends down.

Q: Hi there! First of all, you should not be worried about letting your friends down because you won’t. You should do what’s right for you, and your friends will ideally be supportive of your choices. You have to be aware of yourself and know how much you can handle. For example, if you are struggling with your school work, it might not be a good choice for you to do another activity that takes up time you could use to study. I recommend that you talk about this with your dean as well. They have dealt with situations like this many times before and will be able to give you guidance. I hope this works out for you!

A: First off, it’s important that you ask yourself if you think that you can handle adding a new sport to your schedule and still balance your school work. If your answer is yes, then I would try having a conversation with your parents. Make sure when you talk to them to stay calm and tell them why you think you can balance both. If they really don’t believe you, then you could ask your dean to send an email to your parents on why the school encourages sports and why the deans agree that you can both balance your schoolwork and the sport. I hope this helps.

Dear Q&A,

My friend is insecure about her body. What should she do?

Q: Hello! To start feeling better about their body, your friend can do exercise, eat healthy foods, which will all be a part of taking good self care. If they are doing these things and still feeling insecure, let your friend know that everybody feels insecure about what they look like at one point in time or another. Each person can point out something they believe is “wrong” with their appearance. We judge ourselves the harshest, and I can guarantee that people do not critique things about others as much as we do to ourselves. Something you can do as a friend is help her feel more confident. Give her compliments, talk about her strengths and spread positivity. If your friend starts to get down on herself, cheer her back up. Make your friend feels loved!

A: Hi! I think what’s most important that you could do for your friend is exude confidence yourself. Be really positive about your own body and give compliments to her. I know social media also makes people insecure, so I suggest she unfollows anyone who makes her feel bad, insecure or selfconscious. Another idea is that she could follow body positive accounts or accounts that only post positive messages or quotes. You could also suggest to your friend to go see Dr. Decker to talk about her insecurities. She is a great resource and she could probably help your friend. I hope this helps.

Dear Q&A, How can I improve my math grade?

Q: Hi! There are a few things you can do. The most important part of math is that you fully understand the material. If you are having difficulty with it, make sure that you are doing the homework completely and getting the right answers. Another helpful resource is online programs. Using these for even more practice will be beneficial to your knowledge. There are plenty of good programs, including Khan Academy. You can also meet with your teacher to go over problems that you are having confusion with and do extra practice. If you do this correctly, your grades will show your improvement.

A: Hey! We have answered many questions like these in past issues, so you should take a look. In short, the work starts with you. Some recommendations I have include meeting with your teacher to see what you could work on, looking over old tests and getting extra practice work. Adding on, it’s important that you study for your tests. To study, I recommend doing every problem in the packet given at the beginning of the unit. You could also form study groups and meet with some kids from your class in group study or after school. This could help you understand the material a lot better and also ensures you don’t forget to study something for the test!

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